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10/09/2014

This weekend: Anti-gay American groups pretend their 'religious persecution' is akin to overseas conflicts, beheadings

by Jeremy Hooper

The Family Research Council, American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, Concerned Women For America, Focus on the Family's Citizenlink arm, Catholic Vote, and other anti-equality organizations will team up this weekend to launch an effort to get like-minded evangelicals to the polls this November. And to sell it, they are yet again making light of actual battles and literal persecution in order to frame their supposed "religious persecution" here at home (which most often these days involves a baker who refuses to sell a cake to a gay couple) as being in the same ballpark as these global concerns. Here's the promo:

I actually consider this new approach to be unpatriotic. Whatever you want to say about America, we are a country with freedoms that few others can match. We do consider religious freedom and the right to express your faith freely to be a right worth protecting. And we protect it. We should all be thankful for that, regardless of whether we are personally religious or not.

But rather than give thanks and show the obvious contrast, these groups are increasingly attempting to parlay their overstepped, overreaching, patently unfair version of "religious freedom" into an idea that is as under siege as the literal hostages who live in fear of imminent death-by-decapitation. It's extremely offensive to those who do know what religious persecution actually feels like. It's also offensive to LGBT people, whose right to nondiscrimination in public accommodation is turned into some sort of hostile idea. But it's also just plain offensive to the United States of America, a nation where some of us are truly doing our best to uphold the ideals and get us to a more live and let live placeā€”but some us are crapping in the intellectual wells in order to keep up a convenient "victim" charade.

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